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Jack Skinner joins Blakedown Landscapes’ senior management team

by | 19 Sep 23 | Commercial Landscaping, Featured Slider, Features, News

Blakedown Landscapes is strengthening its management team with the introduction of Jack Skinner as senior contracts manager.

The horticulturist brings a wealth of experience to the new role, the most recent being helping to launch and then heading up Maylim Landscapes, Maylim’s soft landscaping arm, over a year ago. Prior to this, Skinner had worked on high-end residential projects at Randle Siddeley and Bowles & Wyer.

Skinner started his career in aftercare. “I came into the industry as a maintenance gardener. I used to live in Essex and was fortunate enough to be close to both RHS Hyde Hall and Writtle College. I went to Writtle for a few years to study horticulture, then as part of that I worked for the RHS for 18 months.”

From there, he joined Willerby Landscapes, working on private residences before being appointed to the Olympic Park for a couple of years. “It was there that I really saw the industry for what it was and what I could achieve. I took my Masters of Horticulture degree with the RHS – which Willerby was really supportive of – and that boosted my horticultural knowledge and also my management skills and led me towards more of a contracts manager role on their large scale landscaping projects.”

Skinner left Willerby in search of more hard landscaping experience, having focused more on soft landscaping and horticulture up to that point.

Approaching projects from his horticultural background has had its benefits too, such as understanding the importance of soil to a landscape. “If you don’t look after your soils or you’re not handling them correctly, then your scheme in a year’s time is not going to look very good, and ultimately you want the success of a project to run over a 30-year lifespan.”

Jack Skinner has joined Blakedown Landscapes as senior contracts manager

It’s this knowledge that Skinner will be bringing to Blakedown Landscapes, but also his experience of working at the high end of the market. Commercial landscaping and civil engineering company Blakedown has become renowned for, amongst other disciplines, its restorative work on large public parks and estates. “That’s what really excited me about the role. I’ve had lots of experience of working within the commercial public realm and residential market; however, I’ve never worked for clients such as The Royal Parks before. Blakedown has a strong focus on restoration, so it’s not all large-scale construction sites but restoring what’s there or sympathetically working with the existing landscape – that really appealed to me.”

“I’m grateful for the experience I had with Maylim,” Skinner goes on to say. “They are a fantastic company with great ambition. It was interesting to be a part of the Maylim Landscapes journey, and I will be wishing the team all the best success from afar.”

Skinner has thus far found the move to Blakedown to be the right step to have taken at this stage of his career “I’m always evaluating my body of experience, and this will add to my knowledge and skill base and improve the value I can bring to clients and businesses in the future.”

He has joined alongside operations manager Andy Harris and assistant contracts manager Sam Elliott, all to “strengthen Blakedown’s management team” and, with Skinner, to further enhance their horticultural approach.

Steve Buckingham, director at Blakedown Landscapes adds: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jack to Blakedown Landscapes. He brings with him a wealth of experience over a wide range of landscape disciplines and will be a valuable and integral member of our senior team. Blakedown has a strong pipeline of work which includes large public park restorations, public realm, environmental improvements and high-end private garden projects and the expansion of its operations team not only reflects the growth and evolution of the business to date but will also ensure the company is well placed for its predicted future growth and its continued commitment to deliver high quality projects and meet customer goals and expectations.”

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